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Press Release

Leader of Chadwick Avenue Drug Trafficking Organization Charged with Narcotics and Firearm Offenses

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A Newark man had his initial appearance today on charges stemming from his arrest for narcotics trafficking and illegally possessing a firearm, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Ibraaheem Islam, a/k/a “Ish,” 32, appeared by video conference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Leda Dunn Wettre and was detained without bail. He is charged by complaint with three counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base (Counts One through Three), one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (Count Four), and one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime (Count Five). 

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From at least April 17, 2020 to May 27, 2020, Islam engaged in conduct consistent with hand-to-hand narcotics transactions on a regular basis in the vicinity of Chadwick Avenue, Newark, New Jersey. Law enforcement obtained a warrant for Islam’s arrest, as well as warrants to search two vehicles and one residence associated with Islam. On May 30, 2020, law enforcement recovered a 5.7x28 millimeter caliber FN Herstal model “FN Five-SeveN” pistol, loaded with 17 rounds of ammunition, 194 vials containing suspected cocaine base, and 64 glassine envelopes containing suspected heroin. Islam was placed under arrest and taken into custody. 

Counts One and Two each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. Count Three carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison, and a fine of up to $5 million. Count Four carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000. Count Five carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, a maximum sentence of life in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Newark Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Charlie J. Patterson; the Newark Police Department, under the direction of Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose; and the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II, with the investigation leading to the charges.

The case was investigated as part of the Violent Crime Initiative (VCI). The VCI was formed in August 2017 by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, and the City of Newark’s Department of Public Safety for the purpose of combatting violent crime in and around Newark. As part of this partnership, federal, state, county, and city agencies collaborate and pool resources to prosecute violent offenders who endanger the safety of the community. The VCI is composed of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI, the ATF, the DEA, the U.S. Marshals, the Newark Department of Public Safety, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, N.J. State Parole, Union County Jail, N.J. State Police Regional Operations and Intelligence Center/Real Time Crime Center, N.J. Department of Corrections, the East Orange Police Department, and the Irvington Police Department.

This case is also part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Samantha C. Fasanello, Cassye Cole, and Desiree Grace Latzer of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.

The charges and allegations contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the Defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated June 1, 2020

Project Guardian
Drug Trafficking
Press Release Number: 20-159